My first degree was a BA of Arts with specialisation in Film Production and Direction. However, I didn’t stay in that working field for a long period as technology appears to be a consistently changing form.  I moved to London in 2010 to study an Advanced Diploma in Integrative Art Psychotherapy which lasted for one year. I worked and volunteer within different care homes’ settings and homeless shelters.

How did you come to choose this course and why QMU?


In addition to QMU, I applied to two universities in London and I also had the opportunity to continue my masters at the university that I did my diploma in. When I came to QMU for the interview I felt very welcomed and both of my interviewees were asking interesting and thoughtful questions. This was the main reason I choose QMU.

The Course

What did you hope the course would give you? Career change/progression? Continuing personal development?

I hoped the course would help me achieve a better level of self-understanding which would allow me to progress. Back then, I wasn't sure what it would be like to be an art psychotherapist, but I had a gut feeling that this course was supposed to be part of my life journey. I am very happy that I chose this course as it provides you with enough experience to stand as a professional in the field of healthcare.

How did you find the work load? Could you comment on the support available to you?

The work load increased as the course progressed. The programme, through placement, supervision and the interpersonal learning groups and academic writing, gradually helps you to understand better, and in multiple ways, the process of art therapy.

"I visited Edinburgh a few years after I finished high school and I said that I would love to return to study arts. Here I am, after almost 11 years in Edinburgh, studying a subject that included art! Edinburgh is a beautiful and compact city unlike London."
Panos Kourtis

How do you think your QMU degree has equipped you with the skills/knowledge to development your career?

When I had my first Art Therapy interview, I realised that the QMU degree was a very structured and career based degree. I gained a lot of experience whilst on the course as it offers a two year placement. The placement, along with academic reading and writing, are the most important elements of our career. Moreover, all the lecturers have great knowledge and they are able, through their personal experience, to lead you through the course and provide you with enough supervision when it is needed.

What advice would you give prospective PG students?

My advice to the prospective PG students is to trust the art therapy process and to be available and open to new things. Another thing that I realised when I graduated was that building a trustful relationship with clients, during our placements, was part of the art therapy process.

What obstacles did you encounter (if any) and how did you overcome them?

I am an international student so I found academic writing quite challenging . However, all the tutors, and QMU staff in the Learning Resource Centre, are very keen to help and support you with your academic enquiries. Another thing that I found helpful during the course was the communication with other students, especially during the research method module. We managed to form a small reading group which enabled everyone to share our difficulties and opinions.

Life After Graduation

What happened immediately after you completed the course?

Before I submitted my dissertation, Dr Margaret Hills suggested I work as an art therapist in a research project at QMU (ICGA). I had to lead several art therapy groups, and to work with other therapeutic disciplines like speech and language and music therapy.

 Where are you now? Do you have any further future plans?

Currently, I am working as an art therapist at young gallery project in Impact Arts Glasgow, where I support children who live with family members who have drugs and alcohol addictions. I volunteer in Ayr Clinic (Partnerships in Care), which is a low secure unit with female patients. Finally, I support a young adult who is in the autistic spectrum. My future plans are to continue to work as an art therapist developing my work experience.

Anything that you might have done differently?

No, I think I am very satisfied with my journey. It is not easy, but it's worth a lot!


Story published 2016-2017

Occupational Therapy and Arts Therapies

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